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Summer heatwave and Rio Olympics boost UK wine sales

Hot weather and team GB Olympic success has boosted sparkling wine and rosé sales in recent weeks, show initial figures. And retailers expect more to come for Bank holiday weekend.

Summer wine sales

Team GB’s record performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics coincided with an up-turn in British summer weather in August.

And wine sales have risen as a result, according to Nielsen and early figures from several retailers.

Champagne sales rose by around five percent in value terms over the four weeks ended 13 August, said Nielsen.

That’s faster than the 52-week average pace of growth, it said.

Nielsen said sparkling wine sales overall were up nearly 14 percent in value compared to the same four weeks of last year.

Prosecco and English sparkling wine have proved popular alternatives to Champagne in the UK.

Over the past five years, total consumption of sparkling wine in the UK has grown 80 percent.

‘The summer certainly isn’t over and these sales could rise even further,’ said Jon Sheppard, Nielsen’s client business partner.

He said that the Olympics performance may have helped consumer confidence and highlighted a forecast that good weather will continue into the August bank holiday weekend.

Rosé wine, especially Provence styles, has also been a popular choice over the month of August.

Christina Holzer, buyer at The Sampler wine merchant, told Decanter.com, ‘There has been a boost on certain styles for sure, especially sparkling wine and Provence rosé – as well as light whites, such as Picpoul, Sancerre and Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc.

Celia Bryan-Brown, Majestic Wine brand marketing manager, added, ‘We’ve seen a massive uplift in rosé sales in August, particularly those from Provence.’

Waitrose have also reported an increase of 104 percent in rosé sales this August, compared to last year – which they have attributed to the summer trend for ‘frosé’.

Bank holiday sales

Wine merchant Bibendum PLB is predicting strong sales over the August bank holiday weekend based on past experience.

In 2015, it said its wine sales to bars, restaurants and shops were 159 percent higher in the two weeks leading up to the bank holiday, compared to the previous two weeks.

Bibendum also sold six times more English wine over the 2015 August bank holiday, compared to the rest of the month.

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